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FoolishOwl's Journal: Every so often, I consider giving up on Slashdot entirely 4

Journal by FoolishOwl

Sometimes I love Slashdot.

And sometimes, I read some horrible festival of unrepentant sexism, in which I can count on my fingers the comments that aren't offensive and blind to history.

I'm reminded of a critic's comment about Nietzche's frequent sexist rants in his books, that just when he seemed to believe he was bravely challenging the orthodoxy of the day, was when he was most emphatically affirming the orthodox notions of gender.

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Every so often, I consider giving up on Slashdot entirely

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  • The article itself didn't even begin to address the real problem. Saying that participation rates in Open Source are lower than in proprietary ignores the fact that womens dropout rates in IT in general are lower, for one reason and one reason alone [computerworld.com].

    We found that 63% of women in science, engineering and technology have experienced sexual harassment. That's a really high figure.

    They talk about demeaning and condescending attitudes, lots of off-color jokes, sexual innuendo, arrogance; colleagues, particularly in the tech culture, who genuinely think women don't have what it takes -- who see them as genetically inferior. It's hard to take as a steady stream. It's predatory and demeaning. It's distressing to find this kind of data in 2008.

    Is it sexism to say that the men in IT act like jerks, when studies back it up, and that when they're called out on it, they defend it?

    Been through this argument before on slashdot, and it's for the most part like talking to a wall ... or sitting in a meeting with an equal amount of men and women, and watching the men talk *to/with* each other but *over/around* the women (or the even more frustrating being "talked at" - the token "look, see, we're now soliciting your input but we don't really want it because as you can see we've already reached a consensus so just say what you know we want you to say or STFU because we'll either ignore it or if you really p*** us off ...")

    There's a definite difference in group behaviours, and it depends, I think, on the environment. Stick a bunch of men and women in an environment where the men feel safe, and we get this sort of behaviour. Stick them in an environment, such as a hospital waiting room, where nobody knows anyone else, and you see completely different behaviour.

    If it's a long wait, the women often end up talking to each other, and between the complaints about waiting, there's real information being exchanged, such as what to expect for various forms of treatment, the different approaches used by each doctor, which nurse or technician or doctor to see if you need something, what sort of reactions you can expect to various drugs and treatments, etc.

    The men? They're just sitting there trying so hard not to look like they want to talk to somebody - *anybody* - but are too scared to make the first move. It's almost like they're playing the "urinal game" [girlgames.com].

    • by Qzukk (229616)

      Stick a bunch of men and women in an environment where the men feel safe, and we get this sort of behaviour. Stick them in an environment, such as a hospital waiting room, where nobody knows anyone else, and you see completely different behaviour

      The question with the million dollar answer is "how do you make an environment where men AND women feel safe?"

    • That's an interesting insight about waiting rooms. It does have something of the feeling of the "urinal game" -- something about not talking when I (and I assume others) feel physically vulnerable.

      • by tomhudson (43916)

        And yet, that's when people need to talk the most. Women are allowed to feel vulnerable, men aren't. Women are allowed to be perceived as weak or needing help, men aren't. And who is doing this? It's not the women. We *want* guys to talk, and they just clam up! And then it boils over in frustration, or it comes out wrong because they have to be rude and crude about it, "because that's how men are." Men do it to themselves, and then wonder why they die younger.

        Doctors are well aware of this.

        Unfort

One of the most overlooked advantages to computers is... If they do foul up, there's no law against whacking them around a little. -- Joe Martin

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